Skip to main content

Endgame Directors Are Kind of Right That Bucky and Steve Have a “Star Wars Relationship”

Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes ship stucky in Captain America

The Russo brothers are continuing their post-Avengers: Endgame tour of talking about all things Avengers, which means we get a deluge of fun quotes to unpack, for better or worse. Recently, the directing duo made a stop on the Star Wars Show, a weekly webseries from Lucasfilm, to chat about two different franchises and, of course, their take on a specific character dynamic.

“We sat down with Marvel the first time we met with them and talked about the relationship between Cap and Bucky. We said, ‘It’s a Star Wars Relationship.’ You have a villain that is related to the hero,” said Joe Russo. “Although they’re not actually related, they grew up together—they’re like brothers. That creates the richest, most profound kind of storytelling when you have that kind of close relationship between hero and villain.”

Star Wars is hardly the first or only franchise to have a strong bond between the hero and villain, but they’re certainly the most famous. One can even draw strong parallels between Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Return of the Jedi. Luke Skywalker, after learning that Vader is his father, refuses to kill him and instead chooses to save his father’s soul. Steve Rogers, after learning Bucky is the Winter Soldier, refuses to fight him and instead nearly dies trying to get through to Bucky, who ultimately remembers him and saves his life.

Bucky being the villain is a key plot point of The Winter Soldier, though I’d argue that, while Bucky is an antagonist, the fact that he’s brainwashed and not in control of his actions makes him less of a villain than Alexander Pierce or Brock Rumlow. However, having one of Steve’s closest relationships be with an antagonist in the film does create rich storytelling, as it gives the film the chance to explore how Steve’s loyalty is more to people than his country, which is key for his development going forward in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Here’s where I drop in the obligatory reminder that there’s a huge Steve/Bucky shipping contingent, and that the Russos could have conveyed the strength of their relationship without trying to slap the term “brotherly” on it. There are ways to leave it open for fans without consistently trying to shut down any romantic interpretation of the dynamic, but that’s just one person’s take on it.

Overall, this is one of the less frustrating Russo brothers interviews. Some of the things they say, or their need to over-explain everything, can be grating, but this is a fun connection between two giant Disney franchises that shows how art impacts and interacts with other art. Now, if they could only give us a straight answer as to whether Steve created an alternate timeline by staying in the past, or if he was always in the prime timeline, that would be nice.

(via YouTube, image: Marvel)

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—

Have a tip we should know? [email protected]

Filed Under:

Follow The Mary Sue:

Kate (they/them) says sorry a lot for someone who is not sorry about the amount of strongly held opinions they have. Raised on a steady diet of The West Wing and classic film, they are now a cosplayer who will fight you over issues of inclusion in media while also writing coffee shop AU fanfic for their favorite rare pairs.